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1/48 Pz Kpfw 38(t) Mini Diorama – Part 6 – Weathering & Tracks

Time to get cracking! Last year I made slow but steady progress. But over the Christmas holiday I decided to really push for the completion of this project. So without much further meandering… Let’s get to weathering this tank.

1/48 Pz Kpfw 38(t) Mini Diorama Series
Part 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

First of all, I started with a quick application of the markings. As the tank/diorama isn’t based on some real reference I did tinker a bit with the markings. I cut off the big 5 from “522” as referenced in the manual. I based this on some pictures I found from the 10th Panzer regiment where large single digits where used. Therefore I also included a freehand painted division marker (8th Panzer Division, to which the 10th regiment belonged). For the decals I just used some softener after application to make them follow the curves perfectly.

After that I went straight form some filtering with oil paints. My reasoning being that I found the panzer grey to still be quite dark and… boring. I used some thinned down Naples yellow from Winsor & Newton with odorless white spirit. Take care to use synthetic brushes to prevent the white spirit from destroying the natural hairs.

After this self-made filter I wanted to define the details again. First with a panel line application. I mixed thinned down burnt umber with black and applied this carefully around the details. After some drying time, I cleaned a brush. It took a bit of white spirit. Almost completely wiped the brush dry and started with the clean up. Pushing the pigment of the oils towards the crevices and around the details.

Now it was time to add some paint chipping. I first started with a mix of white and some pale blueish grey (IJN grey). I used this to paint the edges in a very irregular pattern of scratches. A fine pointed brush and a really thin mix of paint is what you need to keep these in scale.

To enhance the chipping, I applied smaller chips inside the grey ones. This time I use a very dark rusty brown to give the scratsches some depth.

Then I took some time to paint all the tools and special surfaces:

*Wooden handles: I paint with a very uneven coat of beige brown. I mix in more white to simulate wood grain texture and finish of with a brownish oil wash.

*Metal is simulated by painting the parts in a blueish gray and then stippling/washing a bit of orange-brown rusty mixes. This mix was also used to tint the bigger scratches with some rust tones. The exhaust collector was similarly painted with a lot of intermediate rust tones painted on. I sometimes switched to stippling with fine pieces of sponge to make a less “regular” pattern of dots.

For the leather cushion I painted scratches in white, beige and washed this with a brown ink glaze

The metal parts where give a final touch by pencil. I used the graphite to add a realistic metallic sheen. This however shows very bad in pictures. And the rubber rims of the wheels have been cleaned up with a neutral grey color I mixed out of black & white.

To continue the weathering I applied some enamel mud mixture thinned down with white spirit. The goal is the create a thin very matte film around where the dust and dirt would collect. I opted to make this fairly subtle and in hindsight might have pushed it a bit further. Final “tuning” will happen when the diorama starts to take shape.

As a final step for this lengthy article, I want to talk about the tracks. I left these seperate, so it was almost time to do the dreaded assembly. But before that I had to paint the tracks. I started with a light grey primer. Then the tracks where tinted darker with a blackish wash. Now I could start the real painting. Very loosely I painted the tracks with an ochre as a base for the rusty effect. More localised I applied a dark orange tone. And a drybrush with a dark brown wrapped it up.

As a final alignment between tank & tracks is a thinned down wash with the same mud mix and then some graphite application.

The assembly of the tracks was pretty intense as the paint cluttered the contact points a bit. You also need to take care to assemble in such a way that the pre-formed (see part 2) bends around the wheels fit again. There is still some flexibility in the longer stretches of track but the rounded sub-assemblies are unforgiving. But finally I managed to complete both sides!

In the meantime I’m already planning the lay out and figures for the diorama….but that’s for another episode.

Stay tuned!

And of course feel free to ask/comment/…

1/48 Pz Kpfw 38(t) Mini Diorama Series
Part 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

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